Historic Meeting At Vatican

 
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Br. Denis attended a reception for Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Irish Embassy to The Vatican, where the Taoiseach announced that Pope Francis had accepted an invitation to visit Ireland in August of 2018. The Taoiseach returned to the Embassy following an earlier meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. 
 
Br. Denis spoke to the Taoiseach and Mrs Kenny in the Embassy and both were full of praise for Glenstal Abbey School where the Taoiseach’s nephew was a student.  The Taoiseach highlighted the “Mayo Connection” to Glenstal and mentioned that both the Taoiseach and Mrs. Kenny were very good friends of Fr. Fintan. While the visit would primarily be a pastoral one, the Taoiseach said, all the resources of the State would be used to facilitate this historic occasion. Both the Pope and the Taoiseach were hopeful of a visit to Northern Ireland also and negotiations with relevant authorities would focus on exploring this possibility.
 
Enda Kenny mentioned that he had  also discussed other issues with the Pope including the fall out from Brexit. During the conversation the Pope expressed his concern for the high rate of youth unemployment in Europe and how it was leading to a degree of hopelessness in young people with regard to their futures.  The Pope singled out Ireland for its success in halving the rate of youth unemployment in the last five years. The Taoiseach was full of praise for Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See,  Ms.Emma Madigan,  and for all the staff at the embassy for their efforts in negotiating the Papal Visit.